Today, I was one of the invited speakers at COSIA's National Round Table Conference 2013. I spoke on Redefining MSMEs, based on the article that was published in the August 2013 Issue of SME WORLD.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
Indian economy has grown by 5% in the year 2012-13. The scenario is extremely bleak. There is pronounced slowdown in the industry across the country. The energy sector is one of the most sluggish one and there is very little ray of hope. Power projects have been greatly delayed or held up. Many of the existing ones are operating way below their potential. Financial condition of state distribution companies are in shambles.
Transmission and Distribution losses (both commercial and technical) are way higher in India as compared to many other countries. There are complications in transmission lines, rights and access etc. The most significant issues attributed to this phenomenon are vast gap in supply of coal and natural gas against demand and increase in import of coal for generation. The projections have gone seriously awry. It is estimated that by 2017 (5Y Plan 2012-17) the demand for coal will be in the range of 1000 Million Tonnes and supply will be far less.
Not only are the residential consumers suffering so are the industrial and commercial ones. Businesses have to resort to expensive diesel generators to keep their operations online. The shortage is also a contributing factor in our weak manufacturing sector; an area which is today dominated by the Chinese globally. Process industries and continuous manufacturing cannot flourish with frequent power cuts, multiple staggering days and poor quality of power whatever little is available. There have been cases of major grid collapse in peak summer due to excessive drawing of power. There is also the element of subsidy which is extended to agriculture and not industry that further contributes to dulling our competitive edge.
These issues are not going to get resolved overnight when nothing has happened in so many years of our independence.
In this bleak backdrop, the promise of Solar Energy is the most assuring one that requires concentrated multi-dimensional efforts. There is tremendous potential for solar power in India. It is clean, sustainable and eternal. And the fuel is free!
Only 0.8% of our Installed Capacity is Solar-based Power.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
Book Review (Published in TISA Sep 2013 Issue)
Beginner’s Guide to Entrepreneurship
The High Performance Entrepreneur
Penguin, New Delhi, 2008. pp. 242, Rs. 173 (Flipkart)
This is a good book on Entrepreneurship that is straight and sharp. The author Subroto Bagchi, is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Mindtree Consulting. This book is written by someone who has been there and done that.
The book goes through each step from identifying the opportunity to writing a well – rounded business plan. The author touches upon crucial topics like finding an investor, recruiting good personnel and building a brand. Each chapter is focused on a particular topic thus making the book a comfortable read. The simplicity of language makes it easily comprehensible for an average mind.
One of the key highlights of this book is the chapter on why start-ups fail. This is the segment which readers should probably read first. Start-ups mostly fail in the initial years. The ones who can weather the preliminary obstacles create enough traction to survive and sustain.
What I liked about the book are the first chapter which discusses our readiness to launch a venture and the sixth one which is about how we differentiate ourselves from others. It is vital that we embark on our entrepreneurial journey with a certain amount of readiness to avoid failure. A great idea is simply not enough.
Launching an IPO is quite a critical decision and requires a lot of consideration, preparation and precise execution at multiple levels. Towards the end, the chapter on “From Idea to IPO” provides a wonderful insight though probably not a serious requirement of new entrepreneurs.
The time invested in reading this book will prove valuable for new entrepreneurs or anyone with a great idea trying to crack the idea to execution code. This book has the potential to energize fence-sitters who probably have an idea but not the strength, drive or determination to go ahead on the entrepreneurial path trying to realize their dream and build a name. At times all it takes is a little push and this book is the right dose for such cases.